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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Word on Katy Perry

Well, it looks like the just-released Last Friday Night has a good chance of being Perry's fifth straight #1 from her latest album. And with such a fun video, it really deserves it (the song's pretty good, too). Five #1's is no small feat. Five #1's from one album is even rarer.

And this, to me, is good news. Yes, I am a Katy Perry convert.

I remember first hearing I Kissed A Girl on the radio during the winter of '07-'08. It was played during the block of "new" or "not-yet-famous" music and it definitely had an effect on me. I couldn't believe that, after so many lackluster years of American hip-hop and dirgy rock filling the airwaves, something so POP was actually on the radio. Of course, it was bound to fail, right?

I played the damn thing to death before the rest of the country seemed to catch on. By the time of the follow-up single (the excellent Hot 'n Cold), I had sort of worn out my Katy Perry goodwill. Then came the album, which was a thorough disappointment in my eyes. Too generic, too much alt-pop tedium. The pair of singles stuck out like glistening jewels in a puddle of mud. I wasn't all that impressed with the follow-up singles either, or the mulitple collaborations that came after. In fact, Katy Perry had started to annoy me.

Then something happened. The moment I read the title of her next single, California Gurls, I knew we were in for trouble. The first time I heard it (in low quality), I couldn't convince myself that it wasn't some sort of joke. So many bad lyrics. But then Summer hit, and that chorus stuck. The stupid lyrics somehow became fun (or at the very least, bearable). I was back aboard the Perry train, though somewhat grudgingly.

Then, Teenage Dream. This is the song that did it. I don't think I'm alone in saying that this is where she cemented herself as an artist with staying power. It remains one of her undeniable high points. The perfect pop song, really. I liked the album, too. It seemed such a leap in individual personality and sound from her debut. I started to get all the Katy Perry-isms. The music had grown on me, but so had Perry.

And the weird thing is, the more singles are released, and the more success the album finds, the more I'm liking it. It's that strange album that has gone from "alright" to "wow this is kinda good" to "this is one of the best mainstream pop album's America's produced in awhile." I'm so happy that we're back to an era where we've got proper popstars (if only of the female variety). Think about it: even if you're not a fan, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna form a pretty substantial trinity. Sure, it's not Madonna-Michael Jackson-Prince, but at least it's something.

So, for no other reason than I've been listening to this album a lot lately, there's my Katy Perry story.

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Blogger blogger said...

i love this article and song and katy thoughts; i'm still going to her concert!

Katy tix

8:18 AM  
Anonymous K8kat17 said...

I was doing some digging and found a male singer who's got a similar pop swagger as Katy, his name is Dusty! A well composed symphony pop fantasy.
Twitter @ IAmDustyRay

4:59 PM  

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